Would you survive if you were suddenly transported into the wilderness with only a knife in your pocket? Bearing in mind how divorced most of us are from the natural world, your chances of surviving or even being comfortable are slim. Keeping yourself safe, warm, dry and well-fed without relying on the comforts of your home are survival skills that most of us simply don’t possess.
While none of us are likely to go on expeditions like Ernest Shackleton or live in a remote area like Davy Crockett, learning the basic bushcraft skills is becoming an increasingly popular way to spend a day or a weekend. There are courses for all levels of interest and for all ages, with summer camps for children, hard-core adventures and day courses for those whose interest has been piqued by television programmes such as Escape.
Survival and wilderness programmes on the TV fronted by the likes of Steve Backshall, Ray Mears and Bear Grylls are running in prime-time slots on TV, and there are more and more books available for those looking to learn bushcraft skills from the comfort of their sofa.
Check out newcomer to the bushcraft scene Megan Hine; her book Mind of a Survivor is out now and has been reviewed in the Daily Telegraph. Visiting an online bushcraft store to explore its stock is also a good way to check out the huge variety of gadgets and tools available for the 21st-century survivalist.
Make sure that the people behind the company you’re checking out are enthusiasts and have tried and tested what’s on sale, such as the team behind angloforro.co.uk. The last thing you want is to be seduced into buying something that isn’t actually fit for purpose, so getting advice from someone who’s passionate about bushcraft is a good starting point when you’re looking to get kitted out.
Spending time in the great outdoors in a local wood or at the coast has been proven to be good for your mental health. It’s a natural step from taking a woodland walk to wanting to know how to survive in a forest, for example, if you got lost, and the boom in bushcraft courses is a natural reaction to this demand. Welcome to the survival generation!